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Think big and act small. Leslie Koch
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Discussion Forum > Just to clarify in RAF

I think I have it right, but talk of counting lines feels a bit abstract and sometimes you wonder if you are counting the right lines. As I understand the rules for this Real AutoFocus, the pattern goes like this:

Today (Aug 10), I work through August 9's remaining items (in order; skips allowed; no repeats). Then I work through August 10's items (all of which were added today going through August 9, and/or are brand new this morning) the same as I did August 9. Then I DDD August 8 items. Then I continue doing 9-10-9-10-9-10 until I retire for the day.

In particular there is no rule separating 9 from 10 in the processing, until I get to tomorrow when I start on 10 before eventually DDD the remaining 9's.
August 10, 2017 at 13:54 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

I think you've got it right, but your description is not that terse.

Zane's comment from the original blog post summarizes the steps nicely -

<<A concise way to look at RAF at the beginning of the day...
1. draw the line
2. one pass below the line
3. DDD above the line
4. the rest of the day below the line>>

The way to think about it is more as a circular list than as separate lists for each day. You just scan round and round until something stands out. You start at the line, and are supposed to circle back below the line for DDD after one pass. Once DDD is complete, you just keep going round, thus Step 4 could be written "keep circling" since everything is automatically 'below the line' already. There isn't any need to think about the day on which something was entered.

The only essential detail that Zane glossed over was that you also need to draw a short line segment at the end of the list, before entering new tasks today below it. So Step 1 implies adding this segment, then extending the previous segment into a line all the way across the page.
August 10, 2017 at 23:45 | Registered Commenterubi
Much more fundamental than that. Zane doesn't say where to draw the line. Certainly you don't draw it at the bottom of your list, because then you couldn't do step 2. In any event I prefer working with dates rather than lines, and I think a simple "yesterday, today, 2 days ago" is what's intended.
August 11, 2017 at 1:31 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Here's how I interpret the rules in a not-quite-so-shorthand fashion:

At the beginning of the day...
1. draw a marker at the end of the list to mark the end of Yesterday
2. turn the previous marker into a line across the page
- this creates two lists: 2-days-ago is above the line, yesterday-and-today is below the line
3. now begin adding items to the end of the list as you think of them (and do this all day long)
4. work below the line as briefly as possible (which could be minutes or hours)
- work on all these tasks as one list - not in order, lots of skipping, round and round until pressing tasks are done
5. DDD above the line
- one pass of Delete
- one pass of Defer
- Do everything left on the list in order
At this point everything above the line is crossed off so...
6. work the rest of the day below the line

There's no counting lines. At the beginning of the day you draw a marker then you turn the marker above it into a line.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. But even if I am, this is working marvelously.
August 12, 2017 at 3:34 | Unregistered CommenterZane